Extension Specialist-Fixed

East Lansing
Sep 22, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Working/Functional Title

Associate Institute Director

Position Summary

The Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute (AABI) seeks a qualified candidate to assist with providing statewide leadership and support of agriculture and agribusiness programs.  In collaboration with the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute Director, the AABI Associate Institute Director will provide support for AABI staff and program management, such as new AABI staff hiring and mentoring, AABI work team support, identification of AABI needs and trends, internal and external communications and partnership building. Work will be done in collaboration with Michigan State University Extension work teams, other Michigan State University faculty, external partners, and the AABI Institute Director.  This position is full-time and will be based in the MSU Extension offices located on the campus of Michigan State University.


Specific Responsibilities Include

  • Assist with statewide needs and trends assessment for agriculture and agribusiness related programming and applied research.
  • Support AABI work team functions, leadership development, and multi-level and multi-disciplinary program planning, implementation, and evaluation; includes intra and inter-institute collaborations.

  • Assist with new AABI staff hiring and provide leadership for new AABI staff mentoring and development.

  • Provide leadership for identifying and implementing AABI specific professional development needs and opportunities, including AABI staff assistance with Step II and Step III submissions.

  • Provide leadership with AABI staff management and support, including review of programming and information dissemination through in-person discussions, review and feedback of program reporting, and evaluation.

  • Collaborate with the AABI Director, work team members, and evaluation specialists to assist in writing AABI work team annual plans of work and year-end reports of institute activities.

  • Provide administrative guidance and support to Institute staff/teams in securing extramural support, program funds support and establishing partnerships that leverage public, private and not-for-profit funds in ways consistent with MSU Extension policies, and which foster effective and expanded programming.

  • Oversee coordination for the development of educational materials with the appropriate College of Agriculture and Natural Resource units related to AABI programs.

  • Work with District Coordinators as needed to address issues/concerns related to programming efforts.

  • Serve as liaison with other institutes to enhance the design and delivery of educational programs, strengthen program quality, and connectivity of work group efforts.

  • Serve on the MSU Extension Administrative Team.

  • Interact with diverse sets of stakeholders inside and outside of the university.

  • Represent the MSU Extension agriculture and agribusiness institute at county, state and national venues, including service on relevant committees and attendance at related conferences/events.



Required Degree

Masters -Agriculture or closely related field

Desired Degree

Doctorate -Agriculture or closely related field

Minimum Requirements

  • Master’s degree from an accredited university in an agriculture related discipline or closely related field.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in Extension or similar organization with an emphasis on agriculture or agribusiness related programming.

  • Familiarity with Program Logic Models as a planning and reporting tool.

  • Minimum of 2 years of experience providing supervision.

  • Demonstrated leadership and management abilities.

  • Experience with working with academic faculty and partners to disseminate educational programs.

  • Ability to accept and delegate responsibility.

  • Demonstrated drive, initiative and ability to work with simultaneous, multiple tasks; 

  • Experience with marketing/promotion of educational programs.

  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively to public and lay audiences.

  • Experience and proven ability to productively work with a team and develop multi-disciplinary collaborations.

  • Ability to develop and maintain positive working relationships intra- and inter-organizationally.

  • Proficiency in use of technology (e.g. web research, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook for mail/calendaring, distance technology, etc.) for day-to-day work and educational program delivery, record keeping, reporting, team-based communications and overall management.

  • Demonstrated success in program development, management and delivery to diverse audiences/communities including but not limited to race, gender, socioeconomic class, disabilities and other differences.

  • Proven ability in establishing and working with a diverse network of constituents and community members across race, gender, socioeconomic class, disabilities and other differences to assist with program development and outreach.

  • Understanding of and ability to implement Civil Rights principles and compliance standards.

  • Ability to lift and carry educational materials, equipment, etc. up to 25 pounds.  Ability to regularly travel within the assigned area and surrounding communities, as well as occasional travel outside the assigned area in order to perform duties of this position.


Desired Qualifications

  • Ph.D.in an agriculture discipline or closely related field.

  • Successful proposal development and grant execution experience.

  • Record of success in an agriculture-related field at the local, state, state and/or international level.


Required Application Materials

Current resume/CV

Cover letter, including names and email addresses of four professional references

Special Instructions

Application review will begin July 17, 2017 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.